Their website saysccand perhaps it is. There aren’t too many outdoor bookstores on the Planet Earth. I certainly recommend checking it out if you are in the neighborhood of Ojai, California. Very cool indeed. You may even spy a “celebrity” or two while there. They have a huge supply of books ranging from the 35 cent honor system books that line the bookshelves out on the sidewalk to rare out-of-print first editions.
Bart’s Books, nestled under the 420 year old coastal live oaktree at the corner of Matilija and Canada streets in Ojai, CA, is the home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A.
In 1964 Bart’s Books was little more than a sparkle in the eye of Richard Bartinsdale whose collection of books had gotten so overwhelming that he constructed a series of book cases along the sidewalk so that passersby could peruse the titles.
In lieu of a cash register, “Bart” left coffee cans atop the book cases. People would select a title or two and leave payment in the cans, giving birth to Bart’s world famous tradition of selling books via the honor system.
Since that time Bart’s Books has become host to nearly one million books ranging from the thirty-five cent specials which line the outside walls and are still for sale on the honor system, to rare, out of print first editions, and art books (like Dali’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland) valued in the thousands of dollars.
Currently Dave Ray is Bart’s Books bookseller extraordinaire. With his unique blend of expertise, vim, and pure passion for the art of the written word, he brings new life to what The Times calls “an intellectual haven.”
Nearly half a century after its inception, Bart’s Books continues to mystify patrons, journalists, and book lovers with a character and charm that beggars description and a selection of books that is beyond compare.